Community news: The Islandman

Valentia Island and around

Liam Lynch

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the South Kerry senior football championship victory by the Valentia Young Islanders over Waterville Frank Caseys on a score of 4-16 to 1-4.

It was the end of a famine for the islanders, who had last won the title in 1964.

1979 also heralded the beginning of the golden years for Valentia football which, for many of those players, lasted up to 1993.

The following is an extract from an article in The Kerryman issue following the game:

Valentia - Lords of the South:

"Playing with the hunger of men who have been starved of success through fifteen barren and fruitless years, Valentia footballers stormed the Con Keating Park, Cahersiveen, on Sunday last to fashion glorious victory over Waterville in a disappointing and one-sided South Kerry final.

"Not even in the palmiest days of Valentia football could anyone recall an island selection who scintillated as the winners did on this occasion.

"At the end of the day, the islanders, who had lost five finals in a row between 1973 and 1977, were lords of South Kerry football, and there was no denying that the mantle of greatness never fell on more worthy shoulders.

"In glorious sunshine and before the biggest attendance of the season, both teams were led to the centre of the arena by the colourful Valentia Pipe Band, and the pre-match tension exploded in a mighty roar as Ger O'Driscoll took the ball out of the clouds to set his forwards in motion.

"From the moment when Michael Anthony O'Connell gave a lightning pass to the mercurial Pat O'Connor, it was evident that the islanders were on their game and scores came with a speed and fluency rarely, if ever, witnessed in South Kerry football.

After six minutes, the winners were seven clear (1-4 to 0-0), and two minutes later, when the scoreboard read 2-5 to nil, scarcely anybody could have any doubts that the Waterville men had shot their bolt.

"The islanders continued to dominate throughout the second half, with Gerard Lynch and Ger O'Driscoll scaling hitherto unknown heights of grandeur at centrefield and the Valentia forwards, brilliantly led by matchless Mick O'Connell, in devastating mood.

"Twice in the first quarter, O'Connell landed glorious left-legged points from a distance that would intimidate most present-day inter-county players, and his personal tally of eight points (four from play) speaks volumes for the current well-being of the greatest football artist the game has known.

"However, great as O'Connell's contribution undoubtedly was, this was one occasion when a number of his colleagues almost equalled, if not excelled, the incredible standard which he set.

"In attack, diminutive Pat O'Connor put on display a vast array from the huge repertoire of his many skills; John Paul Curran was back to his jinking, weaving best; and GG O'Sullivan (who had been having treatment for a serious muscle injury only hours before the game) showed his class and scoring power from the left corner.

"O'Sullivan's great shot, which cannoned off the crossbar mid-way, would almost certainly have torn the net from it's moorings.

"But, if the Valentia front runners claimed most of the honours, the real hero of the winning side was in defence, and it was here that the full-back Brendan Murphy covered himself in glory. If justice is done, here is a man who must soon wear a county jersey.

"On the rare occasions when danger threatened elsewhere, the other defenders were equal to the task, with Micheál and Nealie Lyne particularly impressive.

"Behind them, Kevin Curran kept a great goal, numbering among his saves a power-laden penalty drive from Mick O'Dwyer.

"The remaining Valentia players - Darby Lynch, Patrick Lyne, Mike (The Vet), O'Donoghue and Tony Curran were little, if anything, inferior to their colleagues in what was, by any standards, a virtual football tour de force by the brilliant island men.

"Waterville's annihilation made this a particularly disastrous day for the losers, but Gerald Cronin, Paudie O'Shea, John Galvin, Brendie Donnelly, Frank Courtney and Mick O'Dwyer himself lost no caste in defeat.

"Dominic Courtney's goal which followed a great full length save by Kevin Curran, was well taken, but, overall, the side was outclassed."

Valentia: Kevin Curran; Mícheál Lyne; Brendie Murphy, Darby Lynch; Mike (The Vet) O'Donoghue; Nealie Lyne; Patrick Lyne; Ger O'Driscoll; Ger Lynch (Captain, 0-1); Pat O'Connor (2-3); MA O'Connell (1-0); Tony Curran; John Paul Curran (0-2); Mick O'Connell (0-8); GG O'Sullivan (1-2).

Subs: John 'Scully' O'Sullivan (RIP); Timothy Lyne; John Lyne; Danny Healy; Johnny McCarthy; Seamus Lynch; Dermot Walsh; Michael Murphy (Paris); Seamus O'Connor; Nealie Murphy; Joseph Lynch; and John P Falvey. Selectors: Brendie Murphy (Trainer); Joe McCarthy; Diarmaid Lynch; Mike (The Vet) O'Donoghue; and Neilie Murphy.

Scorers for Waterville: Dominic Courtney (1-0); Frank Courtney (0-2, 0-2f); John Galvin (0-1); Mick O'Dwyer (0-1).

Referee: Michael O'Connell RIP (St Michaels, Ballinskelligs).

Cúnamh Iveragh most grateful for Ring of Kerry Cycle’s backing

The personnel behind the Cúnamh Iveragh organisation for people with special needs are delighted to have been selected as one of the main beneficiaries of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle for 2019.

They stated the following after their selection:

''Our present, urgent need is for a respite centre in Cahersiveen so that families get a much-needed break, and at the same time our loved ones gradually get used to leaving home in a way that doesn't frighten them," a spokesperson explained.

"In 2013, Cúnamh Iveragh purchased two houses joined by a conservatory in the heart of Cahersiveen town, standing on a three-quarter-acre site.

"A day service currently operates in one of the houses for the South Kerry area.

"We plan to renovate the second house to HIQA standards in preparation for a respite service.

"We expect the refurbishment of the 1970s-style house to cost in the region of €250,000.

"We plan to create a real home where our children can relax and are comfortable so that they can look forward to their breaks," the spokesperson added.

Tim turns 63 in quite magnificent style

Congratulations to Tim O'Driscoll of The Farm, Farranreigh, in Valentia who was 63 on Tuesday, March 5.

Tim celebrated the occasion with his legion of friends in fine style after Sunday morning Mass in the Ring Lyne Bar and Restaurant of Chapeltown, where he sang 'The Boys of Barr na Sráide', accompanied and ably assisted in song by Pat Stewart.

On accordion was his neighbour and long-time friend, John Lynch of Farranreigh.

Following these performances, many more patrons of the long-established Caol River-side hostelry contributed with song and recitation, and a long and memorable day of entertainment was had by all.

"We will repeat the whole thing right here next year,'' stated O'Driscoll.

The late John ‘Toss’ O’Connell

On Tuesday, February 26, the death at the age of 75 occurred in St Thomas's Hospital, London, of John 'Toss' O'Connell of London and formerly of Upper Feighmane, Valentia Island.

John had been ill for some time.

His funeral will take place in London, and more details are set to follow.

Sincere condolences are offered to all John's family members.

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